Increased numbers at triathlon

The rain did a good job of masking the sweat on racers’ brows during this year’s Tri-Services Youth Triathlon.

Holly Reeves speeds by on her bike during the Youth Triathlon June 16. Reeves was part of the team category.

Holly Reeves speeds by on her bike during the Youth Triathlon June 16. Reeves was part of the team category.

The rain did a good job of masking the sweat on racers’ brows during this year’s Tri-Services Youth Triathlon.

More than 80 athletes competed this year and they pushed themselves to the limit to get the race done June 16. Competitors started in their age groups first swimming laps at the aquaplex, then they followed a set bike route and then completed the race on foot.

Families and friends came to cheer their racers on and some even made the triathlon part of Father’s Day activities. RCMP Staff Sgt., Cameron Chisholm, was pleased to see a slight increase in last year’s competitors. This year teams and adults had the chance to compete, which appeared to add to the excitement of the morning. With 21 adults joining the triathlon, the designated route was busy with people in bright triathlon t-shirts.

“There’s a lot of happy people running,” said Chisholm.

But for him the real purpose is to get kids involved in a healthy lifestyle. “That’s the core, is the youth.”

Bringing the community together is something not only Chisholm enjoyed seeing but also Fire Chief Ted Dillon. He was glad to see the weather was cooler, this way racers would not overheat. He feels the committee may want to consider revamping the course for the adult racers but nevertheless he enjoyed seeing many bikes lined up and ready to race. “I think it’s all good.”

For some of the younger racers this was not their first time either. Jordan Crawford, 10, raced last year. He enjoys the competition. “How you get to do three different events in one race.”

His goal this year was to receive a medal in his age category.

Another veteran youth racer was Lisa van der Westhuizen, she has competed in all three of the triathlons. “It’s just something different.”

With all the rain her goal was not to slip and sustain an injury.

New to the triathlon was Jessica Mathieu, 13, who joined her older sister and wanted to be a part of the experience with her other friends. “It looked fun and a whole bunch of people are doing it.”

The event was also hosted by the Rotary Club of Ponoka and volunteers assisted competitors by helping show the route and ensured they were safe along the way.